The Lawyer Thing…
I work as a criminal defence lawyer. I represent people who have been accused of crimes against individuals and against society, and I work to ensure they receive prompt and appropriate justice. I also seek to minimize the time that victims’ families, police officers and other good people have to spend tied up in the court system.
Criminal lawyers do not exist to put bad guys back on the streets.
The justice system is a complicated one, and does not operate the way it seems to on TV, or the way many commenters believe it must. Most of the time, trials are based on very particular legal issues, and in some cases bad guys get off on technicalities or due to a huge backlog in the system. My job is not to get these people off scot-free but is instead to ensure the criminal justice system works by delivering judgements and punishments that fit the crime, that people are dealt with fairly, that societal values that you and I value are adhered to.
I operate within the law.
Unlike certain politicians, my job is to ensure the rules of law are followed, to work within them and to handle difficult situations using intelligence and experience, rather than avoid them through distraction and evasion. Many people do not like lawyers, and I’m completely ok with that. But it would be wise to note how often these people turn to lawyers when they themselves are seeking justice or when they are looking for sound advice on matters concerning life, money and property.
To be a lawyer means having to qualify to practice, and then perform by a strict set of ethics and rules, and to uphold a profession that has always been built on the principles of justice for everyone. And to always be accountable for each and every action. Every day.
If you don’t like lawyers, especially criminal ones…
…that’s fine. There are people I don’t like either. I don’t “like” people who break the law. I don’t like to see it with average citizens and I certainly don’t like to see it with those who, based on their station in life, constantly get away with it, who are expected to know better: those who run large companies, or elected officials who seem to feel the law does not apply to them.
I also don’t like people who make large amounts of money for simply showing up for board meetings when they’re in conflict. I don’t like people who pretend to be something they are not, by appearing at events that they really have no interest in, just to buy a few more votes. And I really don’t like people who try to insult the intelligence of Torontonians by whitewashing past crimes, actions, and spinning every misdeed and trick into someone else’s fault.
I don’t like politicians who promise things they know they can’t deliver, using money that doesn’t exist. These types of career politicians rely on the short memory of the voting public. They know that by the time the honeymoon is over, there will be other distractions – world events, crises and holidays that will allow them to slither free of their obligations. Or they’ll just point their fingers uselessly.
I also don’t like politicians who know they can get away with anything by blaming the previous administration, or by blaming the elites, or the left or the right or whatever. Frankly, if you want a job that has responsibility, be ready to accept that responsibility.
And high-profile criminals such as Gordon Stuckless? Like I said above, I am not here to get him off scot-free. I am here to make sure he serves his punishment as the law has dictated – no more and no less. To make sure, despite the risk to my Mayoral run, that somebody who relies on me is treated fairly. I would no more give up on him than I would any person who needed my help.
That’s my job. According to the laws of Canada and Ontario, even the worst of society must have legal counsel. I know that by taking on this tough job I can do it right for the broader benefit of the citizens of Canada and specifically for his victims and their families. And I do it right.
I take on tough jobs in the courts and I can do so in City Hall too. I don’t run from tough choices or tough decisions. And that is what leadership is about.
So if you don’t like what I do, that’s your right. You may not know me yet or you may have a preconceived notion about me or what I do and how I do it. You’re welcome to talk to me more about this, or even come watch me do what I do. I mean that. Come watch me. Come talk to me.
But if you like what I could do,
…using clarity and responsibility to bring this city into the 21st century and back on the world stage as a player and not just a source of amusement, then let me use my talents, skills, and experience on your behalf, to make the case for Toronto and Torontonians.
I would rather see a lawyer running for mayor than a mayor running for his lawyer.